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No “sophomore slump” here: PFL and ESPN agree to a two-year broadcasting deal

Six champions were crowned in the PFL’s inaugural season. Now =, millions of fans will get a better look at the promotion.

Entering only its second season, the Professional Fighters League will have plenty of help from the new Worldwide Leader in MMA. The PFL and ESPN have agreed to a two-year broadcast deal, with the partnership starting in May. The announcement was made on the Ariel Helwani MM Show.

This is another attempt for ESPN to grab a hot commodity in the combat sports world; they already do business with the UFC and Top Rank.

With the new deal, last seasons events will be available on ESPN+, the premier direct-to-consumer subscription app. Several fights will take place on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and E+. Additionally, TSN will be be the exclusive home of the PFL for Canada. Pre- and post-fight coverage will also be utilized, as well as original programming. Starting in the spring, programming will kick off with 2018 PFL Season Review and 2019 Roster Selection Show.

“We are thrilled to bring the PFL to ESPN, the undisputed leader in sports. ESPN is a ground-breaking pioneer that has fundamentally changed the way fans consume sports, and we at the PFL are reimagining MMA for fans and fighters,” stated PFL CEO Peter Murray. “PFL will be the technology leader revolutionizing the way MMA fans experience watching live fights, using PFL’s proprietary SmartCage platform and Cagenomics system, to display real-time fighter data and take fans inside the cage.” 

In the new deal, the opening-round matches of the new season will begin on May 9th. The playoffs will start October 11th, and just like last year, the finals will be held on December 31st on ESPN2. In the finals, six new champions were crowned. There will be a new division added to the league, a 155-pound one wth Kayla Harrison at the forefront. With women’s MMA at its peak right now, Harrison getting the spotlight on a platform like ESPN is the ultimate honor.

Previously, the PFL was working with Facebook Live and NBCSN to broadcast events. Now, millions of more viewers will get an opportunity to see what the PFL is all about.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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